Export Update

We have rolled out an update to fix an issue within the gradebook export.
When using the export found in the gradebook view for a class, the honors and segments fields sometimes showed a discrepancy between  what you saw in Educator and what was exported.
This issue has been corrected.
Excel Export

On another note … the Educator developers have been hard at work with some rather significant upgrades.
It has been quiet here lately, but rest assured there are some B-I-G things on the way!

Happy Newest Year

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
~ Mark Twain

Welcome back!
We trust your winter break was mostly wonderful, and your educator muscles might need a little stretching. We’re busy with some loose items from the year’s end, picking up some of your previous ideas to kick around, and creating an energized fresh start for 2016. Speaking of cleanup, let’s take a look at some explanations that might need a little cleaning …

cleanup1

Many of you have asked about the new Turnitin interface we shared just before the break. Here’s the scoop on that progress. As of this writing, the following FLVS courses now have the new Turnitin interface:

  • Creative Photography I V14
  • Driver Education/Traffic Safety V15
  • Economics with Financial Literacy V16
  • English I V12
  • English II V14
  • Geometry V16
  • HOPE V14
  • Parenting Skills V12
  • Peer Counseling 1 V14
  • Personal and Family Finance V12
  • Spanish I V9
  • United States History V12
  • World History V12

Only courses in the FLVS part-time umbrella (learn.flvs.net) are currently activated. By the end of this week, all part-time courses will be activated.
NOTE: All franchises and full-time domains will be added before January 11.

Others among you have made positive suggestions to improve the functionality of the recent update to reminders. These improvements will be rolling out in the next couple of days. Thank you for your suggestions, concerns, and appreciation. Yes, we’re here with you … and Happy New Year!

year2016

And now we welcome the New Year … full of things that have never been.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Turnitin Awakens

It’s true. All of it.
Han Solo, Star Wars Episode VII, The Force Awakens

When you visit student assignments in the coming weeks, you’ll see something like this:

TII_warn1

That link will bring you to this blog post regarding the new and more robust TII interface. When a student submits an assignment, you will possibly see new status information, indicating the file has been picked up by TII or rejected. Hovering over the text Failed will detail the reason for failure.

TII_status

You will see one of the following reports for each assignment …

ONE (Legacy) – for previously submitted assignments; same as you have always seen:

TII_old

TWO (New) – for assignments originally submitted since the new interface:

TII_new

THREE (Both) – for assignments submitted in the old AND resubmitted in the new one:

TII_both

Scores for both comments and all attached files will be shown in the new interface.
Questions or comments? Visit our Facebook page please.

Fresh Tracks

"Sandpeople always ride single file to hide their numbers." Ben Kenobi, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

“Sandpeople always ride single file to hide their numbers.”
Ben Kenobi, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

We are going to show you more about where (and when!) your students have traveled …

heatmap2We have had some great response to the current student Heatmap.
Many of you have found it to be a useful tool for knowing when to best reach out to a particular student.
The Day/Hour Heatmap has helped you possibly discover a pattern in a student’s online attendance.
We have been working to bring you even more useful information.
We have released this new view/tool today.

As we have learned, there is a 14-day activity policy in the school for all students.
Simply stated, a student must be active for 14 days in order to complete a course.
We have a VSA integration that tells us when a student becomes active.
It’s not our job, however, to determine the meaning of the word active after a student is classified as such.
That’s a job for the educators.

If you activate a student today, and the student does nothing for 14 days, and then submits all his/her work on that last day … was that student active?
Once again, it’s not our job here.
So, the development team has incorporated a new view within Educator just for educators!
Welcome to the Daily Usage Heatmap!
You will now be able to view this Daily Usage Heatmap from the ACTIONS menu for any student.

HEATMAP DAILY

The calendar format is obvious and needs no explanation. This will graphically represent every activity a student has had in this particular course. Hovering over the legend icons will reveal how many activities each color block represents on the calendar. The calendar will extend as far as a student participated in the course. Even returning archived students will have their calendars filled in! The Actions Summary will display the count of activity days at each numerical break.
In the example above, the student had 25 days with one to four actions. The student had one day at each of the next two levels of activity and one day with maximum (over 25+) actions. What do you think? Helpful?

On another note …
We have been faced with recent support issues due to teachers trying to change assignments. REMINDER: You cannot make any changes to assessments! Please consult with your lead or IL.

On one final note …
The Educator team is making a run to the end of this week in an effort to add some enhancements before your winter break. We’ve developed a new integration with the TurnItIn system. It is being piloted in one course right now, and things are looking good. Be sure to check back here later today or tomorrow for more details.

There has been an awakening… have you felt it?
Supreme Leader Snoke, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Strike It Rich

Formula for success: rise early, work hard, and strike oil.
~ J. Paul Getty

prospector

Rich text. It’s so much more demonstrative than plain text, isn’t it? Educator is going to START striking it rich via your reminders to students. We’ll watch that work, and we’ll see how you like it. If all goes well, and you seem to like it, we will expand the rich text editor into other areas of Educator. How about email, or feedback, or comments, and even announcements? Let’s see how you use these reminders for now. Try adding a reminder for a particular student. From the student roster you can add or edit a reminder:

edit_add

You will click in the Student Name box to proceed one way or the other. That will open the Edit Student Reminder window:

reminder1

The steps are all the same as they have been EXCEPT the text now showcases a rich text editor! Go play and give it a whirl! You can create or edit these reminders from the Student Roster page or under the Actions links under the applicable Assignment, Exam, or Worksheet page. Let us know what you think, and we will expand the scope of the rich text editor.

We have another little tidbit to make life a bit simpler for you. When you are sending a new email message, you might notice course shells listed that no longer have active students. These just get in the way. You can now control what course lists appear in your email recipient drop-down! Do you want to get rid of a listing?

From the black toolbar on top of any page select OTHER COURSES.
Scroll to the bottom of your Course Manager list and click on the COURSE ARCHIVES button.

archives2

You will see a list of Course Archives.
PLEASE NOTE: Every course MUST have the Allow Students in the course box checked!
To make any course disappear from your email listings, just check the Archive box (#2) and SUBMIT.

email_listing

This will remove all listings from your email selection window. Restoration is accomplished by removing (#1) the checkmark. Pretty simple?

Be sure to check back next week. We will certainly have some stocking stuffers for you to enjoy.

Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.
~ Paul Theroux

Breadcrumbs

In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.
~ Warren Buffett

objects

Back again? Yesterdays often help shape tomorrows. Looking into a rearview mirror is never a good way to move forward. It definitely helps, however, to be able to see that pickup truck nearly inside your trunk or that BMW speeding up behind you on the right when you were about to move toward the exit lane. While rearview mirrors are not a primary focal point while moving forward, they are certainly worth a check to periodically get a glimpse of what’s going on all around you.

Richter

Adrian Ludwig Richter – Hänsel und Gretel

This week’s addition is somewhat off the instructional path.
It will not make your assessments any easier to grade.
Our work today will not process emails or help separate segments.
It’s really more like a Hansel and Gretel thing …

Wait, when the moon comes up I will be able to see the crumbs of bread that I scattered, and they will show us the way back home.
~ from Hansel and Gretel by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Your students leave a digital trail when they travel through Educator.
You’ve seen signs of this in the Usage Logs.
One of the teams at FLVS is focused on academic integrity.

You know those folks.
They wear long leather coats and wear hats pulled over their faces as they sit in smoke-filled rooms.
You’ve seen them in espionage movies and other black-and-white films.
No one knows their true identity.
It’s their mission to hide behind digital buildings and lurk in dark online alleys to find the students who are determined to beat the system, beat the assessments, and beat you at your own game.
They are the AI Team!

espionage

We wanted to make it easier to tell from where a student’s assessment had been submitted. We wanted to put more power into the hands of your academic integrity team. It’s no coincidence that this addition will also give you keener insight into what’s going on at those times when you want to know more. Your Educator team is just providing a tool for you to achieve closer scrutiny into the history of curious (suspicious?) assessment submissions.

scrutiny

Here we go, and here you can go as well …

Go to your STUDENT ROSTER and select any student.
Select that student to view his/her GRADE REPORT.
Click on any assessment within that report.
In this case we have selected an exam:

ip_add1

There will be a highlighted (blue) line that details the last accessed information. This will list the IP address from which the last submission of this particular assessment came. It will also share the geographic location of that public IP address. This will only be the APPROXIMATE location of the host. It will not pinpoint your house or office. Try this link, and see where you are right now.

Back to your students …

When you click on that LAST ACCESSED bar, a table will drop down. The number of rows will equal the number of times that particular assessment was submitted by that student. The date, the IP address, and the approximate location at that time will be listed:

ip_add2

In this example, the two oldest (bottom) submissions were from Central Florida. That’s not unusual. Providers often bounce around to different nodes, or students might go from home to school. The times were far apart as well. There is nothing unusual there. Would a submission from the Netherlands on the same day be questionable?

PLEASE NOTE:
This will only apply to student work submitted AFTER today.
Prior submissions will NOT be included in this access table.

And finally …

We were asked a question recently about viewing the number of times assessments had been reset. We steered those queries to an older blog post from about 18 months ago! Do you see that other (RESET) bar beneath the new one?

resets2

That’s where you can view the reset history of a particular assessment in a student’s grade report. Time to go now. See you back here (or there) soon.

The past is like using your rear-view mirror in the car.
It’s good to glance back and see how far you’ve come, but if you stare too long you’ll miss what’s right in front of you.

~ Anonymous

Growing

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.
~ Benjamin Franklin

We are not introducing new enhancements to you this week. Why not? Simply put, they’re just not ready for prime time. We have nothing on the shelf to share openly, to make you appreciate us, or to make your work go more smoothly this week.

empty-fridge

What’s going on? Remember those sessions we attended several weeks ago in Orlando? We’ve been taking considerable planning and development time to build the foundation for some dramatic improvements. Some of those things just take longer to develop than others. You just can’t rush a creamy Ragu Bolognese or a smoked Texas Brisket!

ragu brisket

Yes, we are still working. Yes, we are still listening. We’re pulling together the plans and programming to grow the learning management system you need. We’re stocking the shelves to better serve you next week, next month, next year, and beyond.

full_store

We didn’t want you to think we forgot about you. On the contrary, looking for the best paths to service you with excellence is a large part of our every day routine.

It’s important to have quiet time and isolation.
~ John Burnside

quiz1

Question One

Do you know what hour is the busiest (most crowded) at FLVS?
On a typical weekday, during which hour is traffic heaviest in your Educator home?
Take your best guess on our Facebook page.

Question Two

Roughly how many students are connected to Educator at any given moment in that hour above?
In other words … how many students are connected at the same time?
Got a guess? You know where to tell us.

Have a great week!

You don’t have to be a mathematician to have a feel for numbers.
~ John Forbes Nash, Jr.

Remind and Find

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station took this photograph of small island cays in the Bahamas and the prominent tidal channels cutting between them. For astronauts, this is one of the most recognizable points on the planet. The string of cays (stretching 8.9 miles here) extends west from Great Exuma Island, Bahamas. Small tidal changes on the banks cause great quantities of water to flow daily through the narrow channels between the cays, first in one direction and then the other.

Justin Wilkinson, Texas State University, Jacobs Contract at NASA-JSC, July 19, 2015

Justin Wilkinson, Texas State University, Jacobs Contract at NASA-JSC, July 19, 2015

Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.
~ Norman Vincent Peale

This first topic is actually just another reminder. It will even seem like repetition to many of you. Simply put, only the curriculum and support teams can alter assignments or their accompanying instructions to students. There have been some cases where teachers or teams have tried to help students by adding/amending instructions to those assignments. These helpful hints would be erased when the master courses regenerated into your shells. This caused frustration over lost work on your part. The Educator system does exactly what it should do … preventing changes to lesson/assignment content.

noedits

We have blocked the ability to edit these assignments. The prohibited symbol will serve as an indication that this section is not to be changed. So, how can you readily offer suggestions to students regarding an assignment? Feel free to use ASSESSMENT REMINDERS when you feel like lending a helping hand.

helphand

Moving right along, we do have a couple of tweaks that might help you out. This one came from one of your full-time teachers, and we thought it could possibly benefit all.

Good afternoon! Those of us in the full-time program at FLVS would love to see if you could add a filter option in email so we could send a mass email to just those kids in a specific segment. This would be extremely helpful in keeping our students up to date with assignment information or any changes in live lessons, etc. Thank you!

Sound good? It did to us! So, here we go …

segment select

Teachers and TA’s will now be able to filter the recipient list in email by segment 1 or segment 2. You’ll now be able to sort your recipient list by segment. Can you think of how this might be useful in the part-time program? Please share your ideas with other teachers here.

Someone else asked if we could extend the usefulness of the Collaboration Finder. How would you like the same ability?

The collaboration finder is great but why can’t I just click and see who has signed up (or should be removed if complete) as an instructor as an option under students in my dashboard?

Is this something you’d like to see? You will now have a link on the Course Roster page:

finder_b

You’ll link to a table displaying all students and their active collaboration requests, if any. Clicking the Student Name will bring you to that student’s Grade Report.

finder_c

The columns can be sorted, and you’ll be able to review which students are currently advertising a need for partners. Take a look at who is planning to collaborate in your classes! If they are done, then counsel them to remove their request.

That’s all for now. Thank you for your continued thoughts, ideas, and comments. We do appreciate them.

Customer service is just a day in, day out ongoing, never ending, and unremitting, persevering, compassionate, type of activity.
~ Leon Gorman